Monday, May 22, 2017

Men Without Women: Stories by Haruki Murakami- Book Review

There are two things I will state up front when it comes to this book:

1. I am a HUGE Murakami fan. The day I read 1Q84, I was blown away and went through his entire back catalogue of books in one summer and one after the other.

2. I never read Hemingway's book with the same title. If there is a parallel between them, I wouldn't know.

With that stated, I did enjoy this book, but did find myself forgetting what certain stories were about.

This is a collection of seven short stories (more on that later) that I would describe as being about the loneliness found even within relationships. This book is also not only about men, as one is focused on a woman who has a sexual, but unromantic relationship with a man, but finds breaking into empty strangers' houses and switching one item is her true turn on. These types of relationships are what unify the book together.

Another example is the opening story- a stage actor is driven to his shows by a "plain looking" woman whom he is not attracted to. The more their relationship grows, the more he tells his story. He reveals he knew his wife was cheating on him and with whom, so he attempted to become best friends with his wife's loves to seek his revenge. As he went through with the plan, he realizes he doesn't actually love his wife, so why was he seeking revenge?

These are the flow for his story collection. These are not short either. The shortest was about 30 pages long, so be prepared to read a bit. I decided to read one a day for a week just to allow each story to flow through my day. As stated there were at least two that I could not remember what they were about, until I went back to review them. So, like all short story collections, there are some that hit and some that miss.

I will also write that I wouldn't recommend this to be the book to introduce yourself to a typical Murakami. These are less fantasy mixed with reality and more grounded in reality with zero fantasy elements. Several of these stories also appeared in other publications.

I gave this one 4 stars.

Here is your Amazon link- Men without Women by Haruki Murakami

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